National Football League

Is Aaron Rodgers missing voluntary OTAs a big deal?

June 1

Aaron Rodgers has not been present for voluntary OTAs thus far — but the 2021 NFL MVP and Packers living legend has been present for plenty of extracurricular activities outside of football.

He remains a frequent guest on "The Pat McAfee Show," regularly uses social media, and has even used his online presence to hype up "The Match," featuring himself along with Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes, and Buffalo Bills signal-caller Josh Allen

In short, Rodgers is living his best life. However, his coach is none too pleased.

Matt LaFleur spoke out about Rodgers' absence from OTAs, admitting that even though the workouts are not mandatory, he still wanted to see Rodgers at them.

"Each guy has that right to make that choice," LaFleur said, via Jason Wilde of the State Journal. "If you’re asking me, I want everybody here.

"I think some of the thought process may have changed over what’s transpired over the last two years, especially with our COVID situation where we didn’t have OTAs. But my thing to our guys is, ‘Well, neither did anybody else. So everybody who was playing, had the same circumstances that they were dealing with.’ Obviously now, with everybody being open, you’d like to see as many guys as possible here.

"I’m not comfortable with anybody not being here. I’d like ‘em all here," LaFleur added. "Again, it’s their choice. Next week is mandatory minicamp, so there are consequences obviously for not coming."

Those "consequences" don't necessarily apply to players like Rodgers, Sammy Watkins, Jaire Alexander and Preston Smtih, all of whom haven't shown up for the voluntary portion of training camp. But that doesn't change LaFleur's opinion.

According to Colin Cowherd though, his criticism is pointless, and "The Herd" host came to the defense of Rodgers on Wednesday.

"In a perfect world, Rodgers would be there for Green Bay. They've got a lot of new players. Ideally, the more practice time, the better.

"But is it possible that a lot of things football coaches keep near and dear to their heart just don't matter? For years, coaches said, ‘I want starters out there’ for exhibition season. Sean McVay said, ‘That’s stupid, they could get hurt,' and Jared Goff and the Rams went 8-0 to start that season. Tom Brady has skipped OTAs multiple times, and has won Super Bowls in a lot of those years."

Is Aaron Rodgers skipping Packers OTAs a concern with new WR core?

OTAs are underway for all 32 NFL teams and one person was notably missing for the Green Bay Packers: quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Cowherd went on to challenge several more unwritten NFL ideologies.

"Here's another: You can't win with a celebrity quarterback. Yeah, Brady shot a lot of holes in that one. So did Peyton Manning, so did Patrick Mahomes II. News for you: They're all celebrities.

"Another is, ‘Turnovers are the killer. I don't want a quarterback throwing the ball around the yard,'" he said. 

"Joe Burrow, Tom Brady, Matthew Stafford have thrown a lot of picks. In 2022, what matters in football is a smart coach, really great quarterback and supplying him with weapons. I just think voluntary OTA attendance won't matter at all in the end."

Finally, Cowherd and Rodgers appear to have come to an agreement.


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